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Application of lean manufacturing tools and techniques for waste reduction in Nigerian bricks production process

Adefemi Aka (Department of Building, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria)
Abubakar Danladi Isah (Department of Architecture, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria)
Chukwudum J. Eze (Department of Architecture, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria)
Owolabi Timileyin (Department of Building, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Nigeria)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 8 October 2019

Issue publication date: 25 March 2020

1059

Abstract

Purpose

Non-value adding activities or wastes in the lean term have been the major challenge of the construction industry. Numerous studies have been conducted to investigate how such wastes can be reduced so as to improve the performance of the construction industry. However, the aspect of bricks production process (BPP) has not been extensively covered. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the application of lean manufacturing concepts in BPP with a view to identifying the various wastes in the practice, the causes of these wastes and how such wastes can be reduced.

Design/methodology/approach

Mixed methods research design was adopted by the researchers where literature review was first conducted to establish the fundamental theories and practice standards of lean manufacturing process. Thereafter, a phenomenological study was carried out in a Shelter Clay and Brick Factory located in Minna, Niger State, Nigeria. The data obtained in the phenomenological study were analyzed through content analysis. These data served as the basis for the validation survey that subsequently followed the phenomenological study.

Findings

The findings in the study show that poor or inadequate supervision is the main factor responsible for wastes such as excessive drying of bricks, overheating of bricks and re-glazing of bricks in Nigerian BPP.

Research limitations/implications

The study focused on the various wastes in Nigerian BPP. It also focused on the various lean tools/techniques that can be adopted to reduce the wastes. Aspects such as the percentage of the wastes and their cost implication on the factory were not covered during the study and could be further investigated by prospective researchers.

Practical implications

The study provides knowledge on how lean thinking can be adopted to reduce wastes in BPP. Such knowledge may be beneficial to the present and prospective bricks producers. This implies that the proposed framework in the study allows producers of bricks to identify gaps in their implementation efforts, focus attention on areas that may require improvements, and access the benefits of lean approach in their factory products. The proposed framework may also be beneficial to the academics.

Originality/value

This paper first gain originality in the study context to propose for a lean framework that can be adopted to reduce wastes in BPP. Furthermore, the paper has not been previously published and all the information obtained from other sources are duly referenced.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

No potential conflict of interest was reported by the authors.

Citation

Aka, A., Isah, A.D., Eze, C.J. and Timileyin, O. (2020), "Application of lean manufacturing tools and techniques for waste reduction in Nigerian bricks production process", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 658-679. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-09-2018-0375

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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